Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What Surprises Will You Find In News & Notes?

By Wayne Messer

For those of you who have not seen it, News & Notes is the electronic newsletter of The American Iris Society for its members.  While you can learn more about it here (scroll down to July 2013 on that News page), we thought sharing a typical (or atypical) issue would give a better taste of what it is and does.

First, let me apologize for not just having a working issue embedded in this post.  I really wanted to do that; but, could not get it to work.  However, we do have one where you can follow the links here on the Iris Encyclopedia.  (You will find another link to that at the end of this post.)

Regular issues of News & Notes are sent monthly containing 5-10 items about happenings in AIS and the world of irises.   In the left column are a table of contents, the featured article - in this case a “preview” of the 2015 Dykes Medal Winner, and a list of quick links to frequently consulted AIS sites.

The featured article, and each of the other articles, generally are a quick summary of the topic with links (shown in blue) to a variety of sources to learn or see more.   That is one of the great things about an electronic newsletter; you can immediately act.  In this case to see the Dykes Medal Winner at an Iris Wiki page or go to iris popularity polls, again on the Iris Encyclopedia.  FYI - the photo shown illustrating this article is ‘Dividing Line’, the 2014 Dykes Medal Winner, which was announced in a special edition of News & Notes last year devoted to the 2014 Medal Winners.

Then in the right hand column are the other articles:  upcoming events (particularly when there are imminent deadlines associated with them), announcements and reminders, and recent happenings.  For the upcoming conventions, there are links to the announcements and schedules on the AIS website and on the conventions sites.  An added bonus is a link to some videos showing irises from earlier visits to some of the tour gardens (with the videos on another Iris Encyclopedia page).

While I could go on and on about the exciting items you will find in News & Notes, the best way to get a sense of it is to follow some of the links.  I’ll just mention one more item you will find in each edition - Jigsaw Puzzles!  While we try to make every item interesting, informative, and fun; with the puzzle the emphasis is definitely on fun.  With two levels of difficulty to match the challenge you need.

What to Do Now

As I said, I like News & Notes because you can immediately go find out more about a topic, sign up for something, use an email link to write to someone, or take some other action.  In that spirit, here is what you can do now.
If you are an AIS member and are not receiving News & Notes, please have our Membership Secretary update or add your email address.  (Link is a email address.)
If you are an AIS member and are receiving News & Notes, please let us know what more you would like to see.  If your Section, Region, Club, Committee, etc. is doing/going to/has done something interesting, please let us know.  Email with your suggestions or comments.
If you are not yet an AIS member, learn more about the benefits of joining and even join online by starting here.  If you already know you want to join and do it online, you can go directly to this page to join.

For those with topics you would like to include, however, you do not know what to link to, the Iris Encyclopedia may be what you need.  In addition to having great information about irises, it is available so you can (or we can help you to) create a page to point to.  That’s what wiki means - you can quickly edit a page or create and edit one  - in this case, the Iris Wiki.  And it is available whether you would like something in News & Notes or to link from a newsletter.

Thank you to Kelly Norris and Bob Pries for identifying the need for News & Notes and getting it started.  And thank you to everyone for reading News & Notes and providing suggestions and comments.  Please keep them coming.

As promised, here is the page on the Iris Encyclopedia where you can see this complete issue of News & Notes with working links.

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